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China’s ‘big ear’ joins search for aliens

Scientists searching for extraterrestrial life have added a big ear to their arsenal.
This week, the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) announced they’ll be joining Breakthrough Listen Initiative, a $100 million search for alien life funded by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in southwest China still has that ‘new telescope’ smell, having completed construction in July.
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It was meant to be an alien eavesdropper from the start, with its directors claiming the “potential to discover an alien civilization will be five to 10 times that of current equipment.”
FAST joins Breakthrough’s roster of research telescopes and devices, including the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, and the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory in California.

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